Super Rugby Round 3 Review

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They share 13 points at the heads of the New Zealand and South African Conferences respectively. The Jaguares are in third place on 10 points with the Brumbies and Crusaders on nine points.

 

Two sides, the Waratahs and the Bulls have yet to register points.

 

Blues 8 Crusaders 25

 

Winning's a habit and the Crusaders, even after the previous week's loss to the Chiefs, demonstrated that in what was often a tight game, they were able to make the scoreline blow out due to their ability to take the slight opportunities the Blues were unable to capitalise on. The Blues scored first with a well-constructed try through the multiple efforts of first five-eighths Stephen Perofeta and while the tries were one apiece at the half, it was well-taken tries in the 43rd and 57th minutes to first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga and centre Jack Goodhue that marked the difference in the final outcome – Mo'unga picking off a Blues failure to control ball and Goodhue from his own kick through, taken by Mo'unga and passed back to Goodhue to score.

 

Blues 8 (Patrick Tuipulotu tries; Harry Plummer pen) Crusaders 25 (George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Jack Goodhue tries; David Havili 2 con, 2 pen). HT: 5-11

Rebels 24 Waratahs 10

 

Wet weather rugby was required in Melbourne and it was the home team that coped best. The game itself was a rugged, forward encounter but it was on the outside flanks that the Rebels secured their first win of their 10th Super Rugby season. Long passes from the base of rucks proved the killer for the patience of the Waratahs defence. First it was wing Marika Koroibete who took advantage of the long pass to cross in the left corner. Then late in the second half, replacement Andrew Kellaway twice stayed wide; on the first occasion an overlap gave him space and the second was from another long pass from a ruck, both times crossing after the Waratahs defence had rushed up early leaving gaps on the outside.

 

Rebels 24 (Marika Koroibete, Andrew Kellaway 2 tries; Matt Toomua 3 pen) Waratahs 10 (Harry Johnson-Holmes try; Will Harrison con, pen ). HT: 8-3

 

Sunwolves 17 Chiefs 43

 

Any doubts that knee surgery might have reduced Damian McKenzie's (pictured) edge were dispelled promptly in Tokyo as he showed that given any room to move he can still be a potent attacker. Add to that the ability to time his run to break defences and it is clear he has taken up where he left off before his injury. In such a mood his wings only need to be handy to be given try-scoring chances as the Sunwolves found to their cost. But what was also significant in the Chiefs effort was the ability of some of the squad's lesser lights to retain their focus in the face of the home side's determination during the first three-quarters of the game.

 

Sunwolves 17 (Garth April, Jaba Bregvadze, Shogo Nakano tries; April con) Chiefs 43 (Solomon Alaimalo, Shaun Stevenson, Brad Weber, Damian McKenzie, Lachlan Boshier, Kaleb Trask tries; McKenzie 3 con, Trask con). HT: 12-24

Hurricanes 38 Sharks 22

 

It should have been the Hurricanes who fell off their game as a result of their fortnight's travel around the world, but instead it was the Sharks who succumbed to the pressure. The game was tied 17-17 at the break but failure to make kicks count proved costly when fullback Jordie Barrett fielded a long attempted clearance to give rampaging wing Ben Lam room to get up a head of steam, bust through the defensive line and charge to his first try. That was followed by fielding a first five-eighths Jackson Garden-Bachop cross-kick to rip the ball from a Shark in the air and then clear out for the goal-line. Hurricanes confidence will take a big boost as they head to the bye while the Sharks will have to pick themselves up to take on the Rebels.

 

Hurricanes 38 (Wes Goosen, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam 2, Dane Coles tries; Jordie Barrett 5 con, pen) Sharks 22 (Madosh Tambwe, Tyler Paul, Mzamo Majola tries; Sanele Nohamba con, pen; Boeta Chamberlain con). HT: 17-17

Brumbies 22 Highlanders 23

 

There was more than a touch of irony about the Highlanders' win in Canberra. The home side scored all their tries from driving lineout mauls, but when they needed to show similar skill in shutting the game down in the last few minutes they failed and it was the Highlanders, whose only earlier try was a charge down try by wing Jona Nareki, who had the presence of mind to complete a move off a lineout for Teariki Ben-Nicholas to charge over the line to secure the match winner in injury time. The Brumbies, who have a poor record in recent years against the Highlanders, brought their 10-game winning streak at home to end and could look at the number of penalties they conceded in their own half, and turnovers given away, as being significant contributors to the final outcome.

 

Brumbies 22 (Folau Fainga'a 3 tries; Noah Lolesio con; Ryan Lonergan con, pen) Highlanders 23 (Jona Nareki, Teariki Ben-Nicholas tries; Josh Ioane 2 con, 3 pen). HT: 12-13

Lions 30 Stormers 33

 

The Stormers conceded their first points of the season when the Lions, looking to speed the game up with quick plays throughout, totalled 30 points and could only retain their 100 percent winning record courtesy of a last-minute try to centre Ruhan Nel. The Lions looked to have the win all locked up with a storming final quarter but the Stormers demonstrated a level of desire to get themselves into a scoring position and they went wide to stretch the Lions defence for Nel to complete the win. It ended a run of five years without a win over the Lions for the Stormers.

 

Lions 30 (Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Dan Kriel tries; Jantjies 2 con, 2 pen) Stormers 33 (Juano Augustus, Godlen Maismia, Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel tries; Damiam Willemse 2 con, 3 pen). HT: 15-18

Jaguares 43 Reds 27

 

The Reds will wonder how they managed to miss a win here. They were up 24-7 at halftime having scored three tries to two. Not only were they up, they were also looking their best this year. But the home team got a boost with a try to wing Emiliano Boffelli just on halftime and they capitalised on that early in the second half when getting their driving maul going. It didn't help that the Reds lost skipper Liam Wright at a crucial stage of the game and in his absence the Jaguares claimed the lead with Montoya scoring his second try. Once they got a sniff of the finishing line, the Jaguares unleashed to run in two more tries late in the game.

 

Jaguares 43 (Emiliano Boffelli, Julian Montoya 3, Santiago Socino, Tomas Cubelli tries; Domingo Miotti con, 3 pen; Tomas Albornoz con) Reds 27 (Chris Feauai-Sautia 2, Tate McDermott, Liam Wright tries; Jock Campbell 2 con, pen). HT: 12-24

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